Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pierog Pots Winner; Birds Beat Dogs 3-2

Nic Pierog lifted the Surrey Eagles to a 3-2 win in Game 2 of the Coastal Conference Final on Saturday night, scoring the winning goal 1:18 into overtime to give the Birds a 2-0 series lead on the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Michael Santaguida made 31 saves in the Surrey net for the victory.

The first period was very similar to the opening game of the series. Neither team scored, although both sides had good opportunities. Chase Paylor was stopped by Santaguida early in the frame to keep the Bulldogs off the board, and Surrey had a great chance when Brady Shaw deflected a point shot just wide of Jay Deo's goal. The Dogs finished ahead on the shot clock 10-6 through one period, but it was the Eagles who had the better quality chances in the first.

Alberni Valley found the net for the first time in the series in the middle frame when Evan Tironese beat Santaguida with a hard shot that hit the under side of the crossbar before ending up in the goal. Surrey equalized on a power play just after the midway mark of the period as Adam Tambellini hammered a one-timer past Deo from the right circle to tie the game. The Bulldogs retook the lead before the second intermission when Tironese scored shorthanded, forcing a turnover in the Surrey zone before wiring a wrist shot into the top right corner.

The Eagles came out hard in the third looking to even the score, and Brady Shaw provided the necessary offence when he fired the puck past Deo after making a couple of nifty moves around Alberni Valley defenders. The teams traded chances in the latter half of the stanza, but neither side was able to get the go-ahead goal, and the game would need overtime. Pierog sent the Eagles home happy when he tipped Craig Wyszomirski's wrist shot from the point as the puck changed direction and snuck past Deo.

With the win, the Birds improve to 2-0 in overtime games in the 2013 playoffs. Surrey was 1-for-3 on the man advantage while the Bulldogs were 0-for-2. The Eagles finished ahead on the shot clock 39-33.

The best-of-seven series now shifts to Port Alberni for Game 3 on Monday night and Game 4 on Tuesday. Game 5, if necessary, will be back at the South Surrey Arena on Thursday, April 4th. For tickets, call 604-531-GOAL (4625).

Pro4 Sports 3 Stars:
1. Brady Shaw - Surrey
2. Jay Deo - Alberni Valley
3. Demico Hannoun - Surrey

My 3 Stars:
1. Brady Shaw - Surrey
2. Nic Pierog - Surrey
3. Jay Deo - Alberni Valley

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